When I tell you about Golden Crown Panaderia in Albuquerque, it's probably going to sound strange.
You see, from the best I can tell, they have four specialties there:
Yep. Empanadas and biscochitos, okay. Bread...all right. The pizza is a little bit of a curveball. And yes, in case you're wondering, they do have other stuff--like mexican wedding cake cookies and a variety of other pastries. Here's there menu so you can ogle. But we zeroed in on the stuff that we were told was the best.
Now, I don't know about you, but I might not have high hopes for, say, the pizza at such an establishment. But the most incredible thing is that they do all of four things things amazingly well.
But since this is a dessert and baked goods site, I am going to assure you that the pizza is well worth a try and start talking about the sweets now, ok?
First, the biscochitos. We were extremely delighted when, upon entering the bakery, the employee just gave us each a biscochito. If you've never tried one, they're a flaky, almost pie crust-esque spiced cookie, often made with lard, which is the official State cookie of New Mexico. Their biscochitos were perfect.
They simply crumbled into a sweet, melty oblivion in your mouth, and the lightly crunchy dusting of sugar and spice was gentle, not overpowering, letting the flavor of the rich but slight cookie shine.
Now, I should tell you for future reference that if you ever buy biscochitos, you must eat them immediately. It's not that they won't keep, but they will crumble. I have purchased biscochitos before and taken a short walk with them and somehow they've turned into a pile of crumbs. Be warned.
Next up were the empanadas. We got apricot and cherry. They have a number of flavors, though--raspberry, apple, lemon, et cetera. Nothing crazy, but a nice variety of flavor options.
The fillings were OK. Like, serviceable. But sort of along the lines of one of those TastyKake hand pies. Fancier of course, but still of that ilk. The apricot tasted better than the cherry, we thought. But either way, the fillings are really just an excuse to have something to wrap the crust around.
But dudes, dudettes, the crust. The crust was similar to the texture of the biscochitos, making me wonder if it was a biscochito crust or perhaps just a lightly doctored biscochito dough altered for a sturdier texture. Like the cookies, they were dusted with sugar and spice. The crust was perfect. It was flaky, lightly nutty (perhaps owing to the spice?) and like the biscochitos, just melted in your mouth. This is the type of crust you're willing to travel for.
Get yourself to the Golden Crown. I think you'll enjoy their crust quite a bit, be it on an empanada or a pizza.
Golden Crown Panaderia, 1103 Mountain Road, Albuquerque NM. Online here.